Articles & Notes — May 31, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Real life tragedies as stories for Hollywood movies

boston-marathonThis is nothing new. People using real life stories as stories for movies. It has happened before, and there are quite a lot of examples.

However, we can focus on the most recent ones. Examples of both big budget films, and those made for pennies.

One of the most vivid examples would be “Zero Dark Thirty”, which needs no introduction. Needless to say, the film gathered as much attention as it could.

“Zero Dark Thirty” made for $40 million, was directed in 2012 by Kathryn Bigelow.

The film was billed as “the story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man”, and tells the story of the U.S. finding and killing the leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden.

Another example would be “DC Sniper”, a 2009 low-budget thriller, starring horror movie icon Ken Foree. Foree has been known to make questionable choices in his film career, and this particular film didn’t add anything to his fimography. Nonetheless, he’s still loved by his big fanbase.

“DC Sniper” is based on the Beltway sniper attacks by John Allen Mohammad and Lee Boyd Malvo over a three-week period in October 2002 (in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia), as a result of which 10 people were killed and 3 more injured.

While the previously mentioned “Zero Dark Thirty” received wide critical acclaim and was nominated for five Oscars for the 85th Academy Awards (plus won one Oscar for sound editing), “DC Sniper” was really an awful film, I am sure even Ken Foree feels sorry about.

Nonetheless, both films had to deal with real-life tragedies, real-life situations and deaths of innocent people. Now, there recently have been two events, which in the future could be used for movies, both by big studios or independent film companies.

One is the story of Christopher Dorner, who was a former LAPD police officer and United States Navy Reserve officer. Dorner was charged with in connection with a series of shooting attacks on police officers and their families from February 3–12, 2013.

The attacks left four people dead, including two police officers, and left three police officers wounded. Dorner was the subject of one of the largest manhunts in LAPD history, spanning two U.S. states and Mexico.

Dorner’s story is rich and interesting from the film adaptation standpoint.

Another tragic event that occured just recently, on April 15, 2013, when two bombs exploded during a Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and over 260 were injured. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) took over the investigation, and on April 18, released photographs and surveillance video of two suspects. The suspects were identified later that day as the Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

This case still continues, with lots of different details appearing in the media on a daily basis (the parents of the Chechen brothers say they were framed, etc).

Will there be a film made on Christopher Dorner’s story? Will the Boston Marathon bombings be enough for film people to get interested in transferring it to the silver screen?

It seems like both stories could really be of consideration for independent filmmakers, since big studios will unlikely be interested in bringing to the screen something like that. No one will ever compare Dorner or Tsarnaev brothers with bin Laden.

Whether one of these stories (or both) will be made into films, remains to be seen.

By Robert Mint

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